June 2004 - Posts
On our last episode, Bullwinkle was still trying to pull a rabbit out of his hat and speak directly to the Microsoft.Sharepoint .NET library...
I spent so many hours on this one. I was at the point where I've done all the analysis I could do and just hope that I would uncover some clue along the way. I knew it was working on a staging server on my company's network but was not working on my development server here on my Office Network.
Then Makarov! Makarov! Makarov! provided me with the keys to the Microsoft.Sharepoint.dll Kingdom with a simple suggestion:
Has anybody tried to add <identity impersonate=”true” /> to the web.config?
Thank you Makarov, from me and all the other people who find this solution. That did it!!!
And as to the question, why was it working on the Staging Server and not my Development Server? Both of the sites' root directories were in subdirectories configured as separate applications under an IIS site root directory. The configuration was identical, as were the web.configs. But the web.config on the Staging server IIS site's parent directory had an <identity impersonate=”true” /> in it, the Developer Server's parent directory's web.config did not. When I changed the impersonate to “false” in the parent directory of the Staging server, I got the error I was getting on Development. I didn't think to check the parent web.configs.
This also fixed the problem I was having passing DefaultCredentials to a Sharepoint web service.
The URL to the original blog post is here, Part II is here.
As my buddy SB Chatterjee mentioned (thanks, SBC!) I have a new article on extending Sharepoint at MSD2D.com.
Extend SharePoint Portal Server with ADO.NET and XML
Well, its like an article, cause its long, has pictures, coding excerpts, and includes a bio. But its an MSD2D SharePoint Tip. That's okay. Big thanks to Dave Cragg at MSD2D for getting me started.
What I mean by “extending SharePoint” is, essentially, packaging up all of the Document Library data (using WebDAV and SPS2001 in the article), into an XML data layer and using ADO.NET to merge that data layer with other enterprise data (SQL Server data in our case) for applications with full access to SharePoint documents that do not require Digital Dashboard or even a browser, for that matter.
I like the MSD2D.com community and how it aggregates information on SharePoint, Exchange, etc. in one location. The next article I'll probably be submitting for publication at MSD2D.com will be describing the process I used in migrating a SharePoint Portal Server 2001 Document Library containing 10,000+ documents to Windows 2003 Sharepoint Services.
Last DevTeach post.
I wanted to post a picture of the keynote session. In the center is the DevTeach founder, Jean-René Roy. At left is Doug Henning who spoke on enhancements to VFP 9.0 (apparently. I love a technical presentation on subjects I'm interested in. A technical presentation on something I have absolutely positively no interest in whatsoever, never ever did nor ever will as long as I live, is pure agony for me. FoxPro falls in that category, so I walked on the VFP section.) At right is Rob Howard, who spoke on Whidbey.
You'll notice that a DevTeach Keynote is somewhat different than a TechEd Keynote. (The TechEd soundtracks use more bass.)
Below the keynote pic is a picture of the conclusion of Roman Rehak's session as he's taking questions after his excellent presentation on SQL Server Reporting Services Programming. I wanted to point out two things here. One, I was in the back of the room when I took this photo, so you can get a feel for the intimate DevTeach session settings. Second (and its hard to see), Roman is listening to a question being asked him. And he's smiling. Damned impressive to show that much confidence in a subject to smile like that when people are asking you questions!
I never bring technical materials to read for pleasure at a conference. I mean, if I'm not overwhelmed with technical input by 5:00 PM, then I'm at a pretty crappy conference.
But I've found the perfect after-hours and between sessions activity: bringing my accordian to conferences. I mean, the accordian is the perfect instrument! Rather than extol its virtues here, I'll share a pic of my Italian-made, vintage 1942 Grand Voxx taken in my hotel window. An Accordian in the City.
Here I am at a conference in a foreign country and I've misplaced my wrist watch the day before the conference. Maybe I should take advantage of the Canadian-USA currency exchange rate and buy a new watch while I'm here.
I'm going batty without a watch. I don't know if I'll make it through the conference without a watch on my wrist.
Maybe I'll have to make frequent trips to the elevator.
I mean, gee-zus! SPS2001 had a setup.exe. Installation was a BREEZE!
SharePoint Portal Server 2003, on the other hand, has NO setup.exe. Its setup and configuration processes are all web-based.
Hello! Web-based apps suck!
Okay. MY web-based apps suck because they use brain-dead server-side controls and require a post-back for every action. Microsoft installation web-based apps rock.
So I'm trying to install OSPS2003, working through all of the new 2003 portal and server farm concepts and all the while using a web-based configuration app to do it.
On one friggen' page, I'm asked to enter the domain\username and password (twice!) for three different configuration processes. Then when my choices are not accepted, some CustomValidationInput control at the top of the page throws a generic message, "Please select a user which is in the Power Users Group and which has database creation rights." That's reasonably acceptable, but then it blanks out all nine of my form fields??? I spent 15 minutes typing and retyping entries on that stupid page alone.
You'd think that at $30,000 dollars for a server license I could get a setup.exe with SharePoint Server 2003.
McLeans Irish Pub is where I eat all of my meals while at DevTeach. Well, all of my meals after 5:00 PM, that is. You'll find it on Rue-something street in downtown Montreal. A great place for a guy to blog in peace and quiet.
"HEY, FRANCOIS! ANOTHER MICK'S RED OVER HERE!"
One of my favorite video games is Jak and Dexter: The Precursor Legacy.
This post serves as a precursor of my thoughts on DevTeach before it begins, based on the .NET session schedule.
Last year I gained a lot of information about application architecture and windows forms application deployment. Now a year past, my app architecture has evolved dramatically but I am yet to deploy a single windows forms app. As much as I rail against web apps, I continue to be well paid to write the damn things and there's been no cry for a windows application. (I have to build it so they will come, but have been too busy enhancing existing web apps.)
Back to DevTeach 2004, after looking at the .NET schedule I see a lot of repeat sessions from last year about Windows Forms deployment and application architecture and fewer sessions about XML. A number of Whidbey-type sessions have surfaced, but there are also new sessions about MSMQ, Web Services, and messaging. These are the sessions that pique my interest this year.
So as a DevTeach Precursor Legacy, I'll probably be fired-up about Windows Forms--again--and be thinking more about messaging.
Messaging? What the hell is messaging???
Now that the conference is over, I'll have to say that Cool Carl Franklin put me over the top with No-Touch Smart Client Deployment and I now have no excuses left, Tom Eberhard made me want to scrap all of my apps and rewrite them (but I did that last year and went overboard on the 3-tier thing), Kevin McNeish gave me a headache, just like last year, Ted Neward proved he IS the smartest guy in the industry, and if I was half as smart as Ted I could answer the question “What the hell is messaging???” but can't.
I saw SQL Reporting Services in action and know that I will make the time for it, and soon. I finally get Wiki, thanks to Rod Paddock, and I think, maybe, the biggest impact DevTeach 2004 had on me is that I am, without reservation, self-restraint or self-respect, a DotNetNuke Wannabee! That nut Jim Duffy converted me. He's the Main DotNet Nukester, after all.
I have no practical skills whatsoever, and yet I can open up a computer and fix darn-near anything that needs fixing. Oh, I hate doing it, of course, but I can do it.
While I was shutting down the home office network I put my hand on my PDC server (Boomer), a 5-year mom-n-pop 550Mhz machine, and it was so hot that my skin was smarting afterward. Not good.
Thankfully I had a new power supply unit sitting on the floor for over 8 months that was sent to me by my Systems Admin at HQ (the best darn System Admin in the world!) when my previous PDC (Rocker) started sounding like it was spitting out rocks from the Power Supply fan assembly. I decided Rocker had earned a long overdue retirement and I relocated PDC duties to Boomer.
Hey, this has a subject line about a new Power Supply Unit. You were forewarned!
But it was a good thing that happened to me today, one of those processes that went so smoothly from start to finish that you were sure you were in for a good beating of some kind or other. But Boomer remains cool. Calm. Its still pissed about Sharepoint Server 2001 being on the machine (now for almost three years running), but otherwise is in good humor.
I was the lead in interviewing several developer hires in recent years.
I remember interviewing for a job myself while I was in a true Dilbert space several years back. I spent more time in Photoshop (because I wanted to and had nothing else challenging to do) rather than in Visual Studio building web applications. If I had plugged-in friends back then, my nickname would have been Wally. So at this one interview I was asked a number of great technical questions about writing applications in Visual Studio and VB. Needless-to-say, I didn't get the job. But I remembered how effective those questions were and how they motivated me to get my act together if I wanted to escape Dilbertville and get back into the game.
When I did re-enter the world of the living and was asked to oversee the interview of prospective developers, I compiled a list of twenty good questions that anyone qualified to write code on my team had to know.
I can say that the questions were definitely helpful, but we all know there's much more to determining the best candidate than basing it on a percentage of accurately answered questions.
I conducted my last interview four years ago. Now I'm sure that interview questions should be both technical and non-technical in nature to determine more about the "person" rather than focus only on his or her developer accumen.
For instance, I think an excellent question would be, "Do you like to drink beer more than eat? Or do you like to eat more than drink beer?"
Any candidate who responds, "Can I get a third option?" would get the job on the spot.
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